Barbarians at the Gate is a 1993 American biographical comedy-drama television film directed by Glenn Jordan and written by Larry Gelbart, based on the 1989 book of the same name by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar. The film stars James Garner, Jonathan Pryce, and Peter Riegert. It tells the true story of F. Ross Johnson, who was the president and CEO of RJR Nabisco.
|Barbarians at the Gate|
|Written by||Larry Gelbart|
|Directed by||Glenn Jordan|
|Country of origin||United States|
Barbarians at the Gate received generally positive reviews from critics. The film earned nine nominations at the 45th Primetime Emmy Awards, winning one for Outstanding Made for Television Movie. It also won Best Miniseries or Television Film and Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film for Garner at the 51st Golden Globe Awards.
Self-made multimillionaire F. Ross Johnson, CEO of RJR Nabisco, decides to take the tobacco and food conglomerate company private in 1988 after receiving advance news of the likely market failure of the company's smokeless cigarette called Premier, the development of which had been intended to finally boost the company's stock price.
The free-spending Johnson's bid for the company is opposed by two of the pioneers of the leveraged buyout, Henry Kravis and his cousin. Kravis feels betrayed when, after Johnson initially discusses doing the LBO with Kravis, he takes the potentially enormous deal to another firm, the Shearson Lehman Hutton division of American Express.
Other bidders emerge, including Ted Forstmann and his company, Forstmann Little, after Kravis and Johnson are unable to reconcile their differences. The bidding goes to unprecedented heights, and when executive Charles Hugel becomes aware of how much Johnson stands to profit in a transaction that will put thousands of Nabisco employees out of work, he quips, "Now I know what the 'F' in F. Ross Johnson stands for." The greed is so evident, Kravis's final bid is declared the winner, even though Johnson's was higher.
The title of the book and movie comes from a statement by Forstmann in which he calls Kravis' money "phoney junk bond crap" and how he and his brother are "real people with real money," and that to stop raiders like Kravis: "We need to push the barbarians back from the city gates."
- James Garner as F. Ross Johnson
- Jonathan Pryce as Henry Kravis
- Peter Riegert as Peter Cohen
- Joanna Cassidy as Linda Robinson
- Fred Dalton Thompson as Jim Robinson
- Leilani Sarelle as Laurie Johnson
- Matt Clark as Edward A. Horrigan, Jr.
- Jeffrey DeMunn as H. John Greeniaus
- David Rasche as Ted Forstmann
- Tom Aldredge as Charles Hugel
- Graham Beckel as Don Kelly
- Peter Dvorsky as George R. Roberts
- Mark Harelik as Peter Atkins
- Joseph Kell as Nick Forstmann
- Rita Wilson as Carolyne Roehm-Kravis
- Ron Canada as Vernon Jordan
Awards and nominationsEdit
- ^ "Those Good Old Takeover Days". The New York Times. March 18, 1993.